In a post from November last year, A fine-tuned universe argues for atheism, Coel goes after a classic argument made by Intelligent Design advocates and the like:
"A favourite and fashionable argument for God is the argument from a fine-tuned universe. The argument is that, were it not for many aspects of our universe being “just right” for us to exist, then we wouldn’t be here, therefore [and that "therefore" is the big leap] the universe must have been fine-tuned to produce us."His response is devastating and draws attention to six major flaws in that argument.I've touched on bits of this before (although with considerable less eloquence) but I recommend reading the coelsblog post for the full six. (It's not that long.) Coel's 3b is my new favourite, though:
"The occurrence of things for which their environment was NOT “just right” would be a far better indicator of intelligent intervention. For example, an animal in a zoo is indicative of intelligent intervention; an animal that fits perfectly into its ecological niche is not an indication of intelligent design, but instead is amply explained by non-intelligent processes such as evolution. Thus, if we found ourselves in a universe that was not suited to creating us then that would be far better evidence for intelligent intervention!"As he points out in another great post from Jan 2, Science can indeed answer “why” questions, it's not "that science cannot give answers involving gods", it's just "that science does not give such answers". Science also remains open to the possibility that, ultimately, there is no "why" at all. It is not that science has decided up-front that there are no gods, it is just that it currently has "no need for that hypothesis". Many atheists, myself included, are the same.